Arnott’s launches new group structure and strategy

Arnott’s has marked an important milestone, launching a new corporate brand identity that unites its family of leading consumer food brands. The Arnott’s Group has been introduced to employees and stakeholders, celebrating the company’s rich history and bright future.

The launch of the new corporate brand coincided with Arnott’s strongest financial performance in recent years and the first since the sale of the business to investment firm, KKR, in December 2019.

This signifies a new chapter for the business as The Arnott’s Group sets its sights on building a regional powerhouse of consumer food brands, based in and run from Australia.

The identity is designed to express this next generation of the business by capturing its proud history, including the vibrant colours of the parrot which is one of the most recognisable brand symbols in Australia.

Arnott’s legacy as one of Australia’s oldest and most trusted brands will help drive a business strategy that emphasises food quality, local sourcing, and community trust.

The new corporate identity is not consumer facing, and there is no change to the Arnott’s logo that is currently on Australians’ favourite packet of biscuits.

“We have a fantastic legacy, a strong business and a plan for growth by building a world-leading group of businesses from right here in Australia,” said Arnott’s Group CEO, George Zoghbi.

“Across Australia, we work with the farmers who harvest our wheat, the bakers and chefs who bring our biscuits, soups and snacks to life and our partners who keep grocery shelves stocked so Aussies can always find their favourite brands in store. We have a responsibility to continue that legacy for many generations to come.”

The Arnott’s Group finished FY20 in a strong financial position in part as lockdown restrictions across the country led to more people cooking and snacking at home.

Over March-June 2020, an extra 4 million packs of chocolate biscuits, an additional 2 million cans of soup, an extra 2.7 million packs of stock and 1 million more bottles and packs of V8 Juice were purchased by consumers.

Sales grew by 6per cent from the previous year on the back of increases in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong and, through growth in exports from its Australian facilities.

Key performers included Tim Tams (270 million individual biscuits sold), Campbell’s soups products (over 5 million units sold) and V8 juice bottles and packs (nearly 3.5 million sold).

COVID-19 related supply chain constraints led to production cost increases of approximately 6 per cent in the last financial year, which the company worked to offset through a program of efficiency measures.

Despite unprecedented pressure on many suppliers due to COVID-19 and the summer bushfires, the company purchased over $110 million in fresh ingredients from Australian and New Zealand farmers.

Over 72,000 tonnes of Australian flour, 23,000 tonnes of Australian sugar and 4,400 tonnes of Australian and New Zealand-made dairy products came into our baking and cooking facilities.

In addition, The Arnott’s Group uses RSPCA-approved cage free eggs, last year purchasing the equivalent of over 10 million eggs. It purchased 489 tonnes of UTZ-certified cocoa products, supporting sustainable and socially responsible cocoa production worldwide. Its food is only made with RSPO-certified palm oil products.

In FY20 the business also invested AUD 66.4 million in new infrastructure, including a state-of-the-art 4-acre warehouse at Huntingwood in Sydney’s west, which will be completed early in 2021.

Over the next three years, The Arnott’s Group will expand its reach across key geographies in Asia Pacific to become a leading regional consumer food business.

From its headquarters in Sydney, The Arnott’s Group will invest in key Asian markets. In Australia and New Zealand, its focus will be on growth in existing biscuits business, delivering an efficient meals and beverages business and, addressing gaps in key snack food categories.

Picky Picky Peanuts launch snack

Love peanuts and love Arnott’s Shapes? Fans of Arnott’s Shapes’ best-selling flavour, Barbeque, will be set to enjoy the latest innovation from Picky Picky Peanuts.

Only the freshest, tastiest Australian peanuts make their way into Picky Picky packs – and only the tastiest collaborations make the cut.

“We’re incredibly picky about the peanuts that we select for our Picky Picky products – they’re homegrown and precisely picked by Australian peanut farmers,” said Toni Cohen – Marketing Manager, Picky Picky Peanuts.

“Picky Picky Peanuts are proud to have collaborated with Arnott’s and Australia’s favourite Shapes flavour, Barbeque, on our latest Picky Picky Peanuts product.”

A study commissioned by Arnott’s in 2019 revealed that Barbeque was Australia’s favourite Shapes flavour.

“Arnott’s Shapes have been a crowd favourite for decades and have always believed in the power of flavour – especially flavour you can see! We are excited to bring this collaboration with Picky Picky Peanuts to Shapes fans, who are some of the most passionate food consumers in the country!” said Shannon Wright, Arnott’s Marketing Manager – Flavoured Snacks.

This is the second iconic collaboration that Picky Picky Peanuts have embarked on, following the much-loved partnership with VEGEMITE on the ‘Mitey Aussie Nuts’.

The Picky Picky range
Picky Picky Peanuts are locally grown and support Australian peanut farmers and are made with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

The Picky Picky Peanuts inspired Arnott’s Shapes Barbeque are available in a 200g pack.

In addition to Picky Picky Peanuts, inspired by Arnott’s Barbeque, Picky Picky snacking nuts are available in the flavours below:

  • Picky Picky Peanuts Sweet Chilli and Lime
  • Picky Picky Peanuts Savoury Honey Roasted
  • Picky Picky Peanuts VEGEMITE Mitey Aussie Nuts
  • Picky Picky Peanuts Salt and Pepper

Australian Packaging awards bring industries together for common purpose

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) awards bought companies of all industries together in Sydney on the 29th of August. 

From telecommunications, to food and beverage, to the machinery and hardware sector, all industries come together for one common purpose – to meet the target of making packaging 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. 

The day began with two workshops – one on a sustainable packaging guidelines review and one on consumer education and behaviour change. 

Companies had the chance to discuss how to achieve the 2025 goal, sharing ideas on what prices they had already implemented and what could be improved. 

READ: Australian Institute of Packaging to introduce sustainable packaging design course

At the workshopping event, APCO chief executive officer Brooke Donnelly said Australia was undergoing a sustainable packaging review as there hadn’t been one since 2011 and it needed to be updated. 

“What we are trying to achieve is better material choices and better design,” said Donnelly. 

Part of that achievement also included correct disposal of packaging and no packaging in landfill, she said. 

At the awards evening, Demold packaging won the top award – Sustainable Packaging Excellence.

Detmold Packaging manufacturers paper and board packaging products for the FMCG and industrial markets.

As part of the privately owned Detmold Group, founded in 1948, Detmold Packaging has access to a worldwide network comprising seven factories and more than 20 sales offices throughout Australia, Asia, South Africa, the Middle East, America and Europe.

The food and beverage industry made its mark at the awards night, with Campbell Arnott’s Australia taking out a top award for Outstanding Achievement in Packaging Design. 

The company also won the award for the Food and Beverage sector. 

Campbell Arnott’s director of packaging Liza Vernalls said the award demonstrated the company’s commitment to packaging sustainability.

“It has been a great achievement from our packaging team, with full support from our leadership and manufacturing teams, together with the strong partnerships with our suppliers giving us such great results in a short period of time,” said Vernalls.

Other finalist organisations in the food sector included Nestlé Australia, Smith’s Snackfood and Sakata Rice Snacks Australia, Mountain Bread, and Fonterra Brands.

Donnelly praised the Australian brands for their commitment to reducing the harmful impacts of packaging on the environment.

“All the winners and finalists of the 2018 APCO Awards have demonstrated that no matter where their business sits within the packaging supply chain, there is always opportunity for positive change,” said Donnelly.

These companies were fantastic examples of sustainable leadership in the food and beverage sector, she said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with them in close partnership, in order to share the innovation, learning and insights required to build a circular economy here in Australia.”

Campbell Arnott’s demonstrated a commitment to operating more sustainably and in 2017, facilitated mandatory sustainability training with its internal packaging team.

The company also converted more than 1,400 tonnes of tertiary packaging from bleached white board to higher recycled content domestic brown board. Through this, Campbell Arnott’s was able to close the loop on paper and corrugated board recycling.

Arnott’s is one of the largest food companies in the Asia Pacific region. Its ongoing growth has been supported by the Campbell Soup Company’s investment in the business.

More than 50,000 Australians have worked with Arnott’s during the past century. Today, Arnott’s employs about 2,400 Australians across the country. 

It also employs thousands of people across the Asia Pacific region, in countries such as New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

The other winners for outstanding achievements were CHEP Australia for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainable Packaging Operations, and Australian Postal Organisation for Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership. 

Other winners were: 

ACCO Brands Australia – Homewares Sector 

Amgen Australia – Pharmaceutical Sector 

Detmold Packaging – Packaging Manufacturer 

Redback Boots – Clothing, Footwear and Fashion 

Kyocera Document Solutions – Electronics Sector 

LyondellBasel Australia – Chemicals and Agriculture 

Qantas Airways – Airline Sector 

SingTel Optus – Telecommunications 

Telstra Corporation – Telecomunications 

Super Retail Group – Large Retailer Sector 

Tasman Sinkware – Machinery and Hardware 

Integria Healthcare – Personal Care 

CHEP Australia – Logistics Sector

Rockwell Automation helps an iconic Australian biscuit manufacturer with plant upgrade

Arnott’s is one of the largest food companies in the Asia Pacific region. More than 50,000 Australians have worked for Arnott’s over the past century.

Today, Arnott’s employs around 2,200 Australians across all states and territories.

The company also employs several thousand people across the Asia Pacific region, in countries such as New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

Millions of Australians have grown up with Arnott’s over the past 152 years. For them, Arnott’s is more than a food company – it’s a piece of Australia’s history and a national icon. Arnott’s portfolio of brands includes household names like Tim Tam, Shapes, Iced VoVo, SAO, Vita-Weat, Salada and Tiny Teddy.

READ: NHP to acquire Rockwell Automation related business assets

As consumers continue to seek high quality and variety in product ranges, food and beverage manufacturers are actively looking to invest in new technologies to help them develop a more agile response to changing consumer tastes and increased flexibility in production lines.

Arnott’s produces a wide variety of sweet and savoury biscuits that have been enjoyed by generations. In fact, Arnott’s has invested approximately a quarter of a billion dollars in their Australian biscuit facilities.

The company’s manufacturing plant in Adelaide produces approximately 10,000 tonnes of biscuits annually. To meet increasing local and global consumer demand, Arnott’s recently embarked on Project Flex – a control and HMI system upgrade to deliver increased flexibility and agility for biscuit production.

When embarking on Project Flex, Arnott’s had no hesitation in calling upon their long-standing automation and control provider Sage Automation. According to Stuart Mitchell, senior systems engineer at Sage, “We have been working with Arnott’s in Adelaide for the past 20 years so we are very familiar with the plant. It is a Rockwell Automation site through and through, so we naturally called on them to help with the upgrade.”

With expansion into international markets and a subsequent demand to increase production, it was important for Arnott’s to have the ability to run any biscuit on any line while maintaining product consistency.

The first stage of the project involved updating the legacy oven conveyor’s PLC hardware to improve the way that operators could load new production orders, including a feature that allows different recipes to be stored, selected and produced on the same line. It also involved the installation of two new cooling systems for conveyors including reprogramming of the control system and HMI.

With this new system, Arnott’s were able to achieve greater flexibility on each line with a reduced margin for human error.

The control system upgrade required the migration of legacy SLC controllers to Allen Bradley ControlLogix to help reduce maintenance costs and allow for increased flexibility on production lines.

While justifying the risk and expense of control system upgrades may initially seem like a challenge, investing in modern technologies that leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) helps manufacturers realise the benefits of smart manufacturing.

As Jonathan Footman, solutions architect, Rockwell Automation, explained, “The more connectivity you have across the plant floor helps implement the technology to enable smart manufacturing and progress in the journey towards a connected enterprise.”

To keep the plant running, Arnott’s leveraged the inherent flexibility of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system to undergo a staged migration to the new controllers.

The ControlLogix control system offers modular architectures and a range of I/O and network options. Tight integration between the programming software, controller, and I/O modules, reduces development time and costs at commissioning and during normal operation.

To help reduce engineering time, Sage used existing SLC I/O in the first stage and subsequently added some Ethernet Point I/O and Flex I/O on DeviceNet. The RSLogix Project Migrator Tool was used to install the ControlLogix controllers with ease.

“While the majority of the plant uses Ethernet, there is still some equipment communicating through DeviceNet and DH+ so by using ControlLogix, any potential integration issues were overcome because the controller is compatible with all three networks. This flexibility allowed the upgrade to be performed in a staged manner as opposed to having to perform the whole upgrade in one go,” explained Footman.

Investing in modern technologies helped manufacturers realise the benefits of smart manufacturing.

Reducing production loss during an upgrade was often filled with challenges but in this case, thanks to careful planning and a phased approach to the migration, the upgrade was completed with no production loss.

Delivering a wide-range of motor control, Arnott’s installed seven new PowerFlex 525 drives as part of the upgrade. Sage was responsible for the drive integration using existing code to both new and existing Ethernet and DeviceNet networks. Moving to the newer platform increased the operational efficiency and centralised the plant’s control system.

In addition, Arnott’s leveraged the intelligence of the PowerFlex variable speed drives on Ethernet to help operators access real time information in the plant.

“Prior to the drive upgrade, the operators would have to run feedback using analogue set points, which was very time consuming. Now, with the PowerFlex drives on Ethernet, all the diagnostics can be accessed in real time. The drives also have a small footprint, reducing the required panel size,” explained Mitchell.

The HMI design and functionality was updated according to Arnott’s specifications to improve the way operators could load new production orders, including a feature that allows different recipes to be stored, selected and produced on the same line.

Sage designed, programmed and installed the HMI solution allowing for a large number of recipes to be created and stored for each oven. The recipe management page enabled each oven to store recipes with pre-programmed conveyor paths, line speed set points and variables.

The new HMI system utilises PanelView terminals and reduces the number of pages from approximately 70 to only 20, simplifying events with each conveyor having its own pop up with manual controls and speed settings.

The HMI solution allows for a large number of recipes to be created and stored for each oven.

With this new system now in place, Arnott’s was able to achieve greater flexibility on each line with a much reduced margin for human error.

According to Andre Spoor, engineering manager, Arnott’s Biscuits, “Sage upgraded our PLC and HMI with no loss in production and no downtime. It’s a great result for us considering it was such a big upgrade.”

By undertaking a staged approach to the control system migration, the multiple manufacturing control solutions were delivered with no unplanned interruption to production. The system was centralised with all cooling systems being monitored and controlled from a centralised ControlLogix controller.

“The change has ensured that the site improves its ability to be flexible. It has simplified the selection and set up process and therefore reduced operator error and provided control systems for the sites conveyors and cooling systems that are well supported within industry,” explained Spoor.

Thanks to the upgrade, Arnott’s is well positioned to meet the growing demand for increased flexibility and agility in its manufacturing operations. By increasing connectivity across the plant floor, it is realising the benefits of smart manufacturing and is now able to build on this foundation, step-by-step, to work towards a connected enterprise.

Arnott’s launches three new Tim Tam flavours

Arnott’s Tim Tam has collaborated with the chilled treat experts at Gelato Messina to create three new gelato inspired flavours; Choc Cherry Coconut, Iced Coffee and Turkish Delight.

Launching on Australia Day, the new Tim Tam range is best served like the delicious gelato that inspired them; chilled. Not only does putting these chocolatey treats in the fridge make them even more enjoyable to eat, the heat sensitive packaging they’re wrapped in also magically transforms when chilled as the writing turns from white to blue.

“After the huge success of the first range of Tim Tam by Gelato Messina we knew we couldn’t make this a one-off partnership,” said Claire Kesby-Smith, Tim Tam Marketing Manager.

“Tim Tam is Australia’s favourite chocolate biscuit and with the help of the gelato experts we’ve created three new flavours best served straight from the fridge to keep Aussies cool as the temperatures rise this summer.”

Arnott’s opens new facility in Western Sydney

Biscuit maker Arnott’s has opened a $22 million Multi-Pack Centre at Huntingwood in Western Sydney.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially unveiled the facility which features state-of-the-art packaging lines.

“Arnott’s Biscuits is a much-loved Australian icon and has been operating in the country for more than 150 years,” Berejiklian said.

“The company employs more than 2,200 people, with 529 of them working at this worldclass facility in Huntingwood.

Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres says business confidence in Western Sydney is sky high meaning more local jobs, sustained growth and an improved standard of living for everyone across the State.

“When Western Sydney wins everyone benefits,” Mr Ayres said. “Jobs are set to boom in this region and we’re seeing some of the biggest names choose Western Sydney as home base.”

Campbell Arnott’s President Asia Pacific Ümit Subasi said the investment demonstrates Arnott’s commitment to manufacturing in Australia.

“The new Multi-Pack Centre will support further innovation in the products we develop for Australian consumers,” Subasi said.

“As a result of the $22 million investment, we have moved our popular snack-pack products into cardboard outers. The new outers are better for the environment, protect the biscuits more effectively and sit more neatly in pantries.”

Tim Tam and Gelato Messina combine for new biscuit

Arnott’s Tim Tam has collaborated with Gelato Messina on a new range of gelato-inspired Tim Tam biscuit flavours.

Taking cues from the gelato flavours that have made Messina popular, the new range consists of four rich, whipped and creamy gelato-inspired Tim Tam biscuits including: Choc Mint, Salted Caramel & Vanilla, Coconut & Lychee and Black Forest.

In creating the new range, Tim Tam took the culinary team from Messina into the secret kitchens of its famed bakeries and taught the gelato chefs the art and science of Australia’s favourite biscuits.

After extensive testing and trialling, a full range of Tim Tam Inspired by Gelato Messina was born.

As part of the creative process, Messina spent hours at Tim Tam’s Western Sydney HQ, working with food technicians and tasting endless rounds of gelato, mapping out the sequence of the desired flavours to create the biscuit version of their signature scoops.

The new Tim Tam Inspired by Gelato Messina range will be available at supermarkets and independent retailers in the biscuit aisle nationally from 6th February, 2017.

Arnott’s bows to popular demand, brings back original Pizza Shapes

Arnott’s has succumbed to the backlash which followed the changed flavours of its ‘Shapes’ biscuits and will bring four original flavours, including Original Pizza Shapes back to supermarket shelves this month.

The well-known biscuits were reformulated with stronger flavours in April as the company did away with the original varieties. However, negative reaction to the change on social media and elsewhere has forced a rethink.

“Since the launch of the New Shapes flavours, we’ve been listening to feedback. Aussies have clearly shown us the love they have for Original Pizza Shapes and we’re happy to announce the product will be returning to shelves over the coming weeks,” said a spokesperson for Arnott’s.

“We’ve been humbled by Australia’s passion for Shapes and would like to thank our fans for their patience. We hope to now have the best Shapes range for Shapes-lovers old and new.”

The updated Shapes portfolio will now boast four Original favourites: Original Pizza, Original Barbecue, Original Chicken Crimpy, and Original Savoury.

In addition, the following six new flavour variants will also remain available: Barbecue, Pizza, Cheddar, Cheese and Bacon, Nacho Cheese, and Roast Chicken.

Arnott’s revamps classic Shapes flavours

One of Australia’s favourite snacks has received an upgrade, with Arnott’s improving the flavour quality of their existing Shapes biscuit range.

Based on consumer feedback, Arnott’s resolved to add more flavour to their biscuits by baking the flavour into the centre of the biscuit, as well as coating both sides of the biscuit. The flavour particles were also made smaller than ever, allowing them to stick more easily to the biscuits, according to the company.

Along with a more powerful flavour, the new biscuits also have higher health ratings, ranging from two to three health stars.

With many consumers concerned about the replacement of the classic flavours, the company has stated that their best-selling flavours (Original Barbecue, Chicken Crimpy and Savoury) will remain unchanged and be sold alongside the new versions.

Available from the new range are flavours Barbecue, Pizza, Cheddar, Bacon, Nacho Cheese, Roast Chicken and Hot Dog.

Image: Herald Sun

Arnott’s takes a bite out of possible Tim Tam super-stores

Whilst participating in a price war with supermarket giant Coles, Arnott’s has been seeking to promote its top Tim Tam product with a foray into building a standalone store.

With almost 3,000 biscuits made every minute, Arnott’s clearly have a loyal customer base as Australians eat approximately 670 million Tim Tams per year.

According to Tim Tam Marketing Manager Claire Kesby-Smith, despite the fact that there are twelve different varieties of Tim Tams, the original flavour is still the most popular.

“In the last few years, we’ve brought Tim Tam trees to Martin Place, a Tim Tam plane to remote Central QLD, a bus delivering Tim Tam packs to regional towns and collaboration with Adriano Zumbo, Australia’s foremost patissier, to supermarket shelves across the nation,” Kesby-Smith said.

“A standalone Tim Tam store sounds like something we should investigate! Perhaps a place with chocolate waterfalls and a never-ending pack of Tim Tam bikkies for sharing!”

There is good precedence for flagship stores becoming a major part of product marketing in the internet era. While fewer physical outlets are required close to people’s homes, one major destination store is often retained as a tangible reminder of the brand’s presence.

M&Ms may provide Tim Tams with a positive source of inspiration. M&M’s have flagship stores all over the world which act as both a sales outlet and a theme park. The intent is to make the product as unique as possible, where visiting the outlet is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to browse through all twelve varieties of Tim Tam flavours.

A Tim Tam store, as Kesby-Smith suggests could be a great source of community enjoyment where consumers can demonstrate the art of the Tim Tam Slam with one another as Tim Tam cake is readily served. 

Its Tim Tams at 10 paces: Round 1 goes to Arnotts

According to a number of media reports, Coles has lost Round 1 in its Mexican standoff with Campbell Arnott's, with the supermarket giant accepting price rises on dozens of products after the biscuit maker held its much-loved Tims Tams hostage.

Campbell Arnott's warned Coles earlier this year that due to increased production costs, it planned to lift its prices by between two and 10 per cent on a range of common biscuit snacks, including Tim Tams, Scotch Fingers, and Monte Carlo biscuits.

In what could only be described as crumbling in the face of a more powerful brand, Coles had little choice but to accept Arnotts's demands.

A Coles spokesperson said: “Coles has made a commitment to bring down the cost of shopping for our customers, and we have been doing that every year for the past six years.”

“So when a major international manufacturer decides they will unilaterally force through a price hike without justification, we will resist that.”

This chocolate-encrusted standoff lasted for almost two weeks before Coles caved in and agreed to pay an increased price on 44 Arnott's biscuit lines.

However the bean counters at Arnotts didn’t have it all their own way as Coles has refused to pay more for 14 other products, which have since been removed from its shelves. 

This includes six varieties of Tim Tams, including a range of flavours designed by Adriano Zumbo as well as other well-known Arnott’s biscuit varieties.

“Our average family shopper spends around $150 per week on food and groceries, and they don’t have the spare cash laying around to give to Campbell’s-Arnotts every time they decide to put their prices up,” noted the spokesperson in an attempt to explain this move.

So while Arnott’s may have won this round, the fact remains that Coles has also used the power of its brand and shelf space to show the biscuit maker that it will not tolerate being held to ransom.

The deleted biscuit lines are:
Tim Tam Zumbo Coconut Cream 165 gram
Tim Tam Zumbo Choc Raspberry 165 gram
Tim Tam Zumbo Salted Caramel 171 gram
Chocolicious Tim Tam Multipack: Caramel 191 gram
Chocolicious Tim Tam Multipack: Dark 187 gram
Chocolicious Tim Tam Multipack: Original 187 gram
Twisted Faves Monte Carlo: Salted Caramel 250 gram
Twisted Faves Shortbread: Strawberry Cream 250 gram
Arnott's Chocolate Biscuits: Royal Dark 200 gram
Arnott's Cheeseboard